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Rocket Experiments By Dr. Robert H. Goddard, 1926-1945

Published 1945

"Summary: A motion picture history of liquid-propelled rocket research by Dr. Robert H. Goddard from March 1926 to June 1945. Included are scenes of Dr. Goddard's first experiments with liquid-propelled rockets at the Ward Farm at Auburn, Massachusetts; the artillery range at Camp Devens, Massachusetts; advanced rocket tests in the desert near Roswell, New Mexico; and aircraft ATO unit research at Mescalero Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico; and at US Naval Engineering Experiment Station, Annapolis, Maryland for the Air Corps and Navy.

(Shot list to follow.)

1) Shows Dr. Goddard with aluminum-covered rocket at Clark University Physics Laboratory, March 1926.
2) Outdoor tests at the Ward Farm, Auburn, Massachusetts, 8 March 1926.
3) Two rocket motor test runs -- April 1926.
4) Test of a new model rocket with combustion chamber and nozzle at bottom instead of top, May 1926.
5) Test of a much larger model in the new permanent-launching tower which is equipped with a turntable for rotation, January - August 1927. 6) Tests of medium-sized model rockets and scenes of Dr. Goddard's assistants, Henry Sachs, machinist and instrument worker, and P.M. Roope from Clark University, September 1927 - February 1928.
7) Scenes at Auburn and Camp Devens, Massachusetts, showing tests in spring and summer of 1928 with combustion gradually improving; tests of a new rocket design with combustion chamber and nozzle at top of rocket, and gasoline and two liquid oxygen tanks below. (This model called "Hoop Skirt" by Dr. Goddard.) Test showing rocket catching in top of tower, 20 October 1928; and launch test causing grass fire, 26 December 1928.
8) Test with new 60-foot launch tower and shelters, 17 May 1929.
9) Test showing rocket lifting off ground about 10-feet, then dropping back, 23 May 1929.
10) Shows rocket test with recording instruments (barometer, thermometer and motion picture camera) being used for the first time, 8 July 1929.
11) Scenes from rocket flight, 17 July 1929.
12) Test firings of small powder rockets using one leg of the launching tower.
13) Tests at the artillery range, Camp Devens, Massachusetts, during winter and spring, 1929 - 1930.
14) Scenes of erection of shop static tower and launch tower ten miles away; rocket propellant pressure and regulator tests on the static tower and lift-time recorder used in static firing tests July 1930 - March 1931.

Reel 2, 1138':
1) Series of scenes depicting a rocket flight showing equipment arriving at the test tower, being unloaded and assembled, personnel leaving launch tower site after final check and at the shelter using binoculars, telescope and stop watch. Includes scenes of personnel at launch control panel, tracking with time-position telescope and arriving at shelter and taking positions. Shows launch and flight of test rocket, personnel climbing into truck and going toward impact site.
2) Scenes of first rocket with remote controls and a later rocket with improved pressure regulation and remote controls.
3) Shows flight test, 30 December 1930.
4) Rocket tests from September 1934 - March 1938, showing scenes from Marley Ranch to launch tower (1934); new sheet iron screen placed around tower; gyroscope stabilizer for the rocket; gyroscope operating vanes by gas pressure; testing of stabilizer by inclining and rotating the rocket; flight of new type rocket, A-3, 16 February 1935; new nitrogen pressure control system being turned on just before flight; flight of rocket, A4, with stabilizer pendulum, 8 March 1935; test of rocket vanes on gyro control rocket; flight of gyro control rocket, A-5, and inspection of wreckage after flight, 28 March 1935; flight of rocket reaching altitude of 7500 feet and speed of 500 mph, 31 May 1935; tests A-9 and 10; scenes of instruments used in the tests; flight A-14 including inspection of the rocket wreckage after impact.
5) Static test firings of a large rocket chamber showing instruments and camera which recorded rocket chamber pressure and temperature; installation of rocket motor in tower; static test firings K-1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10, 22 November 1935 - 12 February 1936; and demonstration of the steering gyroscope principle by Dr. Goddard.

Reel 3, 1222':
1) Static test L-1 of liquid nitrogen model, 11 May 1936.
2) Test L-14 of large movable air vanes, 22 April 1937.
3) Test L-15 of retractable air vanes, 19 May 1937.
4) Test L-16 of steering with movable tail piece, 28 July 1937.
5) Wreckage of tower and rocket after tornado on 15 June 1938.
6) Flight with official barograph, 9 August 1938.
7) Scenes of P series tests to develop pumps for liquid oxygen and gasoline, January 1939 - August 1941 including preliminary static tests P-1 thru P-14; and test P-15 showing rocket being carried to tower, CU's of instruments, nose cone, guidance mechanism and rocket being installed in tower.

Reel 4, 1067':
1) Propellant tests at New Mexico site showing P series tests 16 - 31 including two short flights with pumps and turbines; launch test P-23, showing Dr. Goddard and crew examining the wreckage after flight, 9 August 1940; and launch P-31, 8 May 1941.
2) Development of JATO unit for the Army and Navy showing static test firings of some of the early tests of the takeoff unit at Mescalero Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico, October 1941 June 1941; and static test firings of various units at the US Naval Engineering Experiment Station, Annapolis, Maryland, July 1942 - June 1945.
3) Shows scenes from development of atmospheric sounding rockets; testing of gyroscope and directing vanes by inclining rocket which is suspended from tower-like framework; and gyroscope used for obtaining automatic stabilization.
4) Shows tower used for flights at test site in New Mexico and scenes of rocket being placed in tower, observers in tower and at the 10O0-foot shelter, the recording telescope 3000 feet from tower, and CU's of the flight record.
5) Shows an early flight with gyroscopic stabilization and a flight with improved stabilization.
6) Shows scenes of continuous correction during flight at altitude of 7500 feet and speed of 500 mph, 31 May 1935.
7) Test of retractable aid vanes showing launch at sunset, descent of cap and rocket by parachute and after recovery the following morning, 19 May 1937.
8) Shows movable tail piece steering with catapult launching, 26 August 1937.
9) Several tests including a high pressure static test and a short flight with parachute release at close range, 1938.
10) Flight with an official NAA barograph, 8 August 1938.
11) Dr. Goddard and his assistants posing at the New Mexico test site. Good (Basic: Dupe neg)"

National Archives Identifier: 67881

Producer United States. Department of the Air Force
Audio/Visual silent, black & white
Language English


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